- Rated R
- Buy the BD
All photos © Millennium Entertainment
Reviewed by Ezra Stead
n R-rated comedy with a title like “The Babymakers” and a premise involving a sperm bank heist is pretty much guaranteed to be raunchy and gross, and this film delivers in that regard, though it takes a surprisingly long time to go as hard as it eventually does. It also takes way too long to actually get around to the aforementioned heist, and that's the main problem with the film. It is rather poorly paced, and ends up feeling like a pretty good 80-minute comedy padded out with almost 20 extra minutes of filler, I guess because no one makes 80-minute comedies anymore.
Directed by Jay Chandrasekhar of the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (who brought us “Super Troopers,” “Club Dread” and “Beerfest”), “The Babymakers” stars Paul Schneider as Tommy, a fairly likable guy who is desperately trying to get his wife, Audrey (Olivia Munn), pregnant after three years of marriage. We get the strong impression that this is more of an anniversary present than anything else for the perpetually cash-strapped Tommy, who never seems to have much strong motivation of his own other than trying to keep Audrey happy. After nine months of fruitless, near-constant effort, sex has begun to feel like a full-time job for Tommy, and both his friends and Audrey's (because, of course, they each only hang out with separate groups of same-gendered friends) begin to suggest that there might be something wrong with Tommy's sperm.
Tommy balks at this, telling his friends that, unbeknownst to Audrey, he actually donated viable sperm about 20 times five years ago, in order to earn money to buy her an engagement ring. Tommy seems to have never considered the fact that this means he technically has at least 20 children out there somewhere with other women, which makes him sort of a hard character to root for, as he is clearly a lot dumber than the script intends him to be. His friend Zig-Zag (Nat Faxon) is meant to be the stupid one of the crew, a stoner who is practically too idiotic to breathe, but in this movie, that's pretty relative. At any rate, Audrey convinces Tommy to get his sperm checked, and he finds out they are indeed “confused” after years of testicular trauma, illustrated by a painful montage that goes for cheap laughs and gets them. Watching a guy get repeatedly hit in the nuts is always cringe-inducing, but funny.
Tommy's next course of action is to try and buy back the sperm he donated in the past, but since it was so long ago, there isn't much left. After a pointless and only slightly funny detour in which he tries to get a sample back from a gay male couple (who are presumably using a female surrogate), he finds out that there is one final, frozen sample at a nearby sperm bank. His best friend Wade (Broken Lizard's Kevin Heffernan) introduces him to a former second-story man for the Indian mob named Ron Jon (Chandrasekhar), who agrees to help Tommy, Wade and Zig-Zag rob the sperm bank, and the plot finally really gets rolling nearly an hour into the movie.
Tommy has another friend in his circle, Darrell (Wood Harris), but his status as the token black guy is reinforced by the fact that he takes no part in the heist, and doesn't have much else to do in the film either. Audrey's circle of female friends have even less to do, with their only really memorable moment being a brief scene in which Karen (Aisha Tyler) graphically describes the method of male orgasm-faking. Audrey's douchebag ex-boyfriend Todd (Tommy Dewey) also gets a fair amount of screen time without contributing much of interest, all of which adds to the impression of the film's length being unnecessarily padded. There are a lot of laughs sprinkled throughout, especially in the performances of Heffernan and Chandrasekhar, but they are diluted by too many meandering, pointless detours along the way.
Single-Disc Blu-ray Review:
Millennium Entertainment may have had good intentions when compiling the bonus material for its Blu-ray release of "The Babymakers," but the studio would have been much better off not bothering at all. In addition to a brief making-of featurette, there's also a collection of sloppily edited interviews with the cast and about 10 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage that will only appeal to those with voyeuristic tendencies.